Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21: St. Aloysius Gonzaga


St. Aloysius Gonzaga
St. Joseph Church, Macao
Photo by John Hill

History

The first words St. Aloysius ever spoke were the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. By the time he was 9 years old, he knew he wanted to be a priest. But his father wanted him to be a soldier, and he had to serve as a page (a servant to a nobleman or military officer). Still, he spent as much time as he could praying and reading about the saints. At age 18, he finally got permission from his father to become a Jesuit. He took care of people who were infected with the plague until he caught it himself and died when he was 23. The last word he spoke was the Holy Name of Jesus. 

Activity

The name of Jesus was so important to St. Aloysius, it was the first and last word he ever spoke. We live in a culture where people say the name of Jesus all the time - and sometimes they use it when they are angry, disgusted, etc. Today, ask God to help you always say Jesus' name as if it was the most precious word ever spoken. 

Saint Aloysius, pray for us!

More reading for parents:

Catholic Online 

Last year, we learned about St. Lazarus